(Minghui.org) Female Falun Gong practitioners who refuse to renounce their faith are tortured in the 12th Ward of Liaoning Province Women’s Prison. To the outside world it’s called the “Emergency Training Correctional Ward.” It’s actually a prison inside a prison, and it’s sole purpose is to “break” Falun Gong practitioners who cannot be “transformed.”
Falun Gong teaches the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance, and includes slow-moving exercises and meditation. It has been persecuted in China by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) since July 1999. After practitioners are admitted to the prison, they first spend two weeks in the “new admission team” and are later transferred to the 12th ward.
The only assignment the guards and inmates in this ward have is to torture Falun Gong practitioners. The prison authorities arrange two inmates to monitor each practitioner around the clock. The guards train the inmates in torture methods designed to “transform” practitioners, and inmates are rewarded with reduced sentences if they succeed in getting practitioners to renounce their faith.
Brainwashing Aims to Force Practitioners to Renounce Falun Gong
When they arrive at the 12th ward, practitioners are taken to a small room and questioned about their personal information for hours. The inmates then report what they’ve learned to a division head, who has over ten years of experience in “transforming” practitioners.
The division head then meets with the practitioner and talks to her about her family, marriage, and health, trying to persuade her to renounce her faith. Afterward, the inmates try to force the practitioner to sign five statements, which require her to admit that she’s committed a crime because she practices Falun Gong, and promise that she will stop practicing. If the practitioner refuses, she is beaten, verbally abused, made to stand for hours, and deprived of sleep. She is not allowed to wash herself, and her bathroom use and water intake are restricted.
Meetings to criticise and slander Falun Gong are held every Tuesday and Thursday in two big activity rooms. During these “struggle sessions” practitioners are forced to watch short videos slandering Falun Gong, listen to brainwashing speeches, and answer questions that repeat the slander.
If their answers don’t satisfy the guard, the guard punishes both the practitioner and the inmates monitoring her. The three have to squat down with one knee on the ground and both hands on their thighs for three hours. Sometimes the practitioner has to be “re-educated” for up to a month, during which time she has to watch videos defaming Falun Gong every day and write “thought reports” about the videos.
Once a practitioner agrees to transform, the inmates take out pre-written statements and have her sign them. They make her memorise answers to some questions and take her to the guards’ office, where they videotape her answering their questions. The answers are prepared by the inmates to slander and smear Falun Gong and its founder. Afterwards she has to go through a month of so-called education to “strengthen her determination” to quit practicing Falun Gong. She must continue writing reports every day to defame Falun Gong.
If a practitioner regrets what she did and says that all the statements she signed are void, the guards retaliate by putting her in a solitary confinement and forcing her to stand from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day. She has to relief herself in a bucket in the room and is not allowed to shower or wash herself. The inmates watch her closely until she transforms again. Some practitioners’ terms were extended because they refuse to renounce Falun Gong.
At the time of this report the practitioners incarcerated inside the 12th ward are: Ms. Zhang Chuanwen, Ms. Xu Qiang, Ms. Liu Xiaohong, Ms. Zhang Cuifeng, Ms. Xu Minghua, Ms. Gao Fuling, Ms. Ma Zhiru, Ms. Xu Guilian, Ms. Kong Ying, Ms. Liu Fubo, Ms. Zhao Yuhua, Ms. Guo Shufen, Ms. Zhang Fengzhi, Ms. Jiang Wei, Ms. Qiu Tieling and Ms. Qi Yan.
The following are brief summaries of the sufferings of three practitioners.
Ms. Zhang Chuanwen from Fushun City was taken to the 12th ward on August 1, 2023. She suffered non-stop torture such as sleep deprivation, physical assault, and was denied bathroom use. She had to watch slanderous videos and attend the “struggle sessions.” The inmates kept pressuring her to sign the statements. For three months, she was only given corn bread to eat.
Ms. Hou Ruiyue, 62, from the city of Dalian was arrested on October 5, 2019. The police at the Dalian Train Station scanned her bag at the security check, and found an audio player that played Falun Gong music. The police then ransacked her home and detained her in Yaojia Detention Centre for three months.
It was reported in January 2021 that she was secretly sentenced and was transferred to Liaoning Women’s Prison. After she was taken to the 12th ward on April 15, 2021, she was immediately put in a solitary confinement because she refused to renounce Falun Gong. Not only was she not given food and water, but two inmates took turns to verbally abuse her. They did not let her use the bathroom or sleep. The abuse and starvation continued the next day. She was also forced to watch videos slandering Falun Gong every day for the next six weeks until May 28, 2021.
Ms. Hou had to work in the 1st ward making clothing beginning May 29, 2021. The 1st ward is known as “Shenyang Ningda Clothing Factory Co. Ltd.” to the outside world. In reality it is a sweatshop that exploits the inmates’ free labor. She had to get up at 5 a.m. and work from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with only a few minutes to have meals in between. The space in the sweatshop is very crowded, with each person working within one meter square (9 sq-ft). Sometimes they have to work longer hours when the demand is high.
Ms. Zhang Wei from Donggang City was put in solitary confinement around April and May 2022 because she insisted on doing the Falun Gong exercises. She went on a hunger strike. The guards dragged her to the prison hospital to force feed her. In the hospital they injected her with unknown nerve-damaging drugs and jammed toothpicks under her nails. She was emaciated and on the verge of death when she was taken back to her prison cell. Her term will end in April 2024.
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